I’m writing this from Bendigo. One week since Dan and I pitched Salt Water Bay in person. Three since the submission of all the paperwork, and my housewarming heartwarming party. Two months and a week since I’ve been in this home. Four months and a week since the marriage ended.
The “and a week” makes it all a little less poetic doesn’t it? I did indeed forget to mark that particular time. Has the significance of that date – of the break up – diffused? Diluted?
Perhaps – though for the most part, I cannot really tell – because I have simply been on the exhale.
The pitch went really well – in that I came out of it feeling rich and fulfilled by the entire process that has been Salt Water Bay. And in a larger sense, working with Dan again. It will be what it will be. It is truly out of our hands now. And as I’ve been saying to friends who check in – now, we wait, and rest.
And what a chapter this has been!
I wish I could firmly say I rested (and rested enough/more), but the reality is I had to get back on top of the other things – TNA work, planning other projects, I ran a couple of workshops, and truly – life admin! Though in some strange way – while the feasibility study for Salt Water Bay has been such a massive process, and the exhaustion has been real – I’ve also been very energised by it. And for now, I am relishing in the momentum – and the confidence gained from the work.
Rhythm can be propelling.
I’m here at Artlands – a conference on regional arts practice. And it’s also been a privilege to be in a different headspace – talking community, connection, and artistic experiences.
A topic that has been resurfacing for me – most recently with the wonderful Penny Harpham of She Said Theatre, and today at a particular workshop session – is the idea of the feminine* dramaturgy.
That we are allowed to meander – through undercurrents, nuance and subtlety – where progress can be as gentle as one foot in front of the other. Where we can sometimes depart from a place of distillation only to find ourselves arriving in expansion. Where silence sometimes says more. Where listening is the primary mode of engagement. Where reading the room, and understanding our position before we speak/act is the best place to begin. Where generosity is the only way in which you can enter. And humility the best way to return.
This meandering has underpinned the way I work – and want to continue to work – in my practice both solo and collaborative. And as I approach the second residential of the future leaders program – I am beginning to see it’s no different for me when I think about leadership and what my approach is/might be.
I am reminded of Jacinda Arden’s full address to the UN General Assembly – I remember being very moved by her address, and in particular, this line –
“To being pragmatic, empathetic, strong and kind.”
This meandering can easily be misconstrued as long-winded, vague or weak, but strength is never found in simply flexing muscles, or drawing hard lines. It takes more courage to sit in silence, wait in uncertainty, and rest in vulnerability; a surrendering. It takes vision and foresight, amidst grounded-ness to be truly present – to join the dots of meaning for yourself and the people around you. And it takes an unwavering assuredness of your core to be genuinely responsive and nimble to the ever changing world around us.
And it takes faith to exhale.
To let go. In this meandering, it is possible to move forward/sideways/within/around/on without arriving at a resolution (yet). That there aren’t always answers, and that new questions can surface. That there aren’t always explanations, but there can always be acceptance.
And we can always exhale.
In practice. In love. In life.
*feminine in this context is by no means limited to a particular gender, and recognises the complexities and desires of moving away from binary thinking. And yet, without giving more of a platform to patriarchy by referring to it as non-patriarchal – and without co-opting queer identities and language – feminine is a spirit I identify as the way in which I move through the world.